Over a Million Colorectal Cancer Survivors in the US

Graph of US Cancer Survivors from 1971 to 2007Among the nearly 12 million US cancer survivors, there are 1.1 million who have been diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer.

The number of all US cancer survivors has increased steadily from about 3.8 million in 1971 to 9.8 million in 2001 to 11.7 million in 2007.

More than half of survivors had colorectal, breast, or prostate cancer.

Individuals are considered cancer survivors from the time of diagnosis through the balance of their lives.

As of January 1, 2007:

  • 64.8 percent of survivors had lived 5 years of more since their diagnosis.
  • 1.1 million of the 11.7 million had lived more than 25 years.
  • 59.5 percent were 65 years old or older.
  • 54.3 percent were female, 45.7 percent male.

Most common cancer diagnoses were

  • female breast: 22.1 percent of all survivors,
  • prostate: 19.4 percent.
  • colorectal: 9.5 percent.

People in the United States diagnosed with cancer:

  • In 1971 there were 3 million cancer survivors, 1.5 percent of the US population.
  • By 2001, the number of survivors had increased to 9.8 million, 3.5 percent of people in the US.
  • In 2007, survivors grew to 11.7 million, 3.9 percent of population.

Almost all survivors were over 40 in 2007

  • 59.5 % were 65 and older.
  • 35.2 % were 40 to 60.
  • 4.5 % were 20 to 39.
  • less than 1 % were 19 or younger.
  • of the young survivors under 20, 1/3 had been diagnosed with leukemia.

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Volume 60, Number 9, pages 269-272.

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